Arsenal are ready to scrap with Manchester United over the signing of highly-rated German prospect Matthias Ginter.
The 20-year-old has caught the eye of many of Europe’s elite, who are all eager to cough up the alleged £8m required for Freiburg to sanction his sale.
Arsene Wenger reportedly packed his head recruiting honcho Steve Rowley off to watch the recently capped international in action in his side’s 4-1 demolition of Eintracht Frankfurt.
A commendable rearguard showing guided the Gunners to a 1-0 win over nemeses Tottenham last time out, which whittled them down to 14/1 to win the Premier League; they’re 11/4 to record successive derby-day away wins by beating Chelsea in their next game.
With competition for Ginter certain to be fierce, the north Londoners may well miss out, so we’ve sounded out four further Bundesliga-based stoppers who should be of interest to Wenger and, indeed, every other top-tier outfit.
Schalke’s Cameroonian centre-half has avoided the all-engulfing jaws of the rumour mill, which is surprising given his stellar repelling stats.
The 22-year-old dwarves Ginter’s digits in the same department, averaging 2.2 tackles, 2.6 interceptions and 5.9 clearances per game, compared to the Freiburg man’s 1.6 tackles, 2.6 interceptions and bang on four clearances every time he takes the field.
A Spanish father and Chilean mother haven’t stopped Rodriguez pledging allegiance to the Swiss national team, though they’ll be grateful given the stellar season he’s enjoying at Wolfsburg.
Lauded for his willingness to attack, the 21-year-old left-back is a strong crosser and dribbler with four assists to his name already this term.
Three tackles per game indicates he isn’t scared of putting a boot in either.
Those seeking a new number three this summer should be paying close attention to the German top-tier, where Argentine Garcia rivals Rodriguez for ‘best outside of Bayern’ status.
Aged 25, he doesn’t exactly have youth on his side, but he is a very sturdy defender and his versatility – he can operate equally well at centre-half and on the left of midfield – is a valuable commodity too.
Sampdoria’s former Everton trainee clearly doesn’t play in the Bundesliga, but his recent performances in Serie A have warranted a call up to the German squad and he must be considered.
Towering statistics of 2.9 tackles, 3.3 interceptions and a monstrous 7.4 clearances for every appearance he makes, with whoscored.com rating him the 12th best player in the kingdom of calcio this season.